In the closing days of 2021, Nas has released his second album this calendar. In March, Nas won his first Grammy Award, taking home “Best Rap Album” honors for King’s Disease, produced entirely by Hit-Boy. Then, in August, Nas and Hit returned with King’s Disease 2.
The Mass Appeal Records sophomore effort earned Nas another Grammy nomination ahead of next month’s awards. Its Lauryn Hill-assisted album cut, “Nobody,” made Barack Obama’s annual playlist. Nas also found time to direct his first documentary, You’re Watching Video Music Box—which premiered this month on Showtime.
Titled Magic, the third Nas and Hit-Boy link-up is nine songs, just one less than Illmatic and two more than 2018’s NASIR. This one involves another legendary producer from the MC’s career; DJ Premier joins A$AP Rocky on “Wave Gods,” reuniting Preemo and Nas. Another cut, “Meet Joe Black,” borrows its name from a 1998 Brad Pitt film. “Wu For The Children” takes its name from a now-iconic moment when Ol’ Dirty Bastard interrupted the 1998 Grammy Awards.
2021 marks the first time Nas offered two albums since 1999’s I Am… and Nastradamus campaign.
Beyond his own two albums, Nas joined JAY-Z for a Grammy-nominated appearance on DMX’s “Bath Salts.” He has also featured on ’21 projects by DJ Khaled, Berner, and Hit-Boy.
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Earlier this week, Ambrosia For Heads named King’s Disease 2 among its best albums of 2021 as part of a special year-end episode of the What’s The Headline podcast: